Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lucia Crime not to speak out against child abuse, apparently

Yesterday, the new Crimes Amendment Act came into force, apparently making it a crime "to stay silent when it is known that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of death, grievous bodily harm or sexual assault," according to the press release by Judith Collins. News items that I've read, such as this one by The Herald, continue this theme, writing that that it has become "an offence to not report known child abuse".

Report to whom, I wondered? So, I looked up the Amendment, and could see nothing that indicated that reporting the abuse was the action that needed to be taken when child abuse was known by the person.  All it said was that if a person "fails to take reasonable steps to protect the victim" at "risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault", then they could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.  Likewise if a person, "intentionally engages in conduct that, or omits to discharge or perform any legal duty the omission of which, is likely to cause suffering, injury, adverse effects to health, or any mental disorder or disability to a child or vulnerable adult (the victim) if the conduct engaged in, or the omission to perform the legal duty, is a major departure from the standard of care to be expected of a reasonable person," then they could also be imprisoned.

No mention of reporting being the stated course of action, however, it would be the one most likely to get someone off the hook, I would guess, because then they've apparently done something, no matter how effective it actually was, that can be backed up by another person.

A Radio NZ news article was the most accurate, as it said that:

From Monday, law changes make it an offence for anyone over the age of 18 living in the same household or closely connected to the family to fail to act on child abuse they are aware of.
Failure to act is somewhat different from making it a crime to stay silent.

I find this whole idea of having to dob someone in more than a little disturbing. Call me paranoid, but it seems to me that this law is going to just entrench the idea of spying on others around us and informing the authorities of any misdeeds, rather than actually doing anything to protect children. Most of whom are in danger, not just because people around them don't report on them or do anything to protect them, but because they live in situations that breed abuse such as unmarried households where there is a never-ending stream of live-in boyfriends. It should be illegal to have a live-in boyfriend or at least a source of social stigma for those that live this way.

Oh well, this is the price the liberals among us are forcing upon the population. A decrease in morals is leading to an increase in government surveillance. I've been warning about this for years, now. All that free sex worth it yet?

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